vice president

Venkaiah Naidu to host farewell dinner for 72 Rajya Sabha MPs

New Delhi [India]: Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu will host a dinner along with cultural events for all the outgoing members of the Upper House to mark their farewell on Thursday at his official residence.

Mementos will be presented to all the 72 retiring members and another 19 retired earlier who could not receive the mementos.
At the dinner, about half a dozen Rajya Sabha members will showcase their cultural talents. Trinamool Congress leader Santanu Sen will play the Guitar, Trinamool Congress’ Dola Sen will present Rabindra Sangeet, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Tiruchi Siva will render a Tamil song, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Roopa Ganguly, a Hindi song and another BJP leader Ramachandra Jhangra will present a patriotic song, Nationalist Congress Party leader Vandana Chavan will sing a Hindi song. These individual performances will be followed by a chorus song.

Senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat have said that the members of the House will showcase their cultural talents after 20 years at such an occasion.

Chairman Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of the House, Leader of the Opposition, Leaders of various parties and several of the retiring members will speak in the House on the occasion tomorrow.

Chairman Naidu today announced in the House that Zero Hour and Question Hour will not be taken up in the House tomorrow so as to enable the leaders and Members to speak on the occasion. (ANI)

Vice President, Defence Minister, other MPs pay tributes to victims of 2001 Parliament attack

New Delhi [India]: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla paid their tribute to the security personnel who lost their lives in the 2001 Parliament attack on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other parliamentarians also paid tributes on the occasion.
Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had remembered the security personnel who lost their lives in the attack and said that the nation shall forever remain grateful to them for their supreme sacrifice.

“I pay my tributes to all those security personnel who were martyred in the line of duty during the Parliament attack in 2001. Their service to the nation and supreme sacrifice continues to inspire every citizen,” PM Modi said in his tweet.
On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed terrorists belonging to terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), stormed the Parliament complex in New Delhi and opened fire indiscriminately.
Around 14 people, including security personnel and one civilian, were killed in the attack. The terror strike took place around 40 minutes after Parliament was adjourned and about 100 members were present in the building.

Vice President Naidu to inaugurate exhibition on ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ in Hyderabad

New Delhi [India]: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate an exhibition on ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ (EBSB) in Hyderabad on December 12, Sunday, informed the Ministry of Tourism on Saturday.
As per the Ministry, the exhibition will be organized by the Regional Outreach Bureau, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This exhibition would highlight the various interesting aspects of the paired states of Haryana and Telangana like art forms, cuisine, festivals, monuments, tourism spots etc. The exhibition will be open for viewing from December 12 to 14 at Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University Campus, Nampally, Hyderabad.
The Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat program is a unique initiative by the Government to promote the spirit of national integration and to strengthen the fabric of emotional bonds between the people of our country.
The Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB) program was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who played a significant role in the unification of the country post-independence.
This objective of EBSB is to be achieved through the concept of state/UT pairing. Every State and UT in the country would be paired with another State/UT for a time period, during which they would carry out a structured engagement with one another in the spheres of language, literature, cuisine, festivals, cultural events, tourism, etc.
In the present scheme of things, the state of Telangana is paired with Haryana. Many activities in varied fields as mentioned above would be carried out by both states like learning of keywords in both languages, performing folk dances of the paired state, cooking cuisines of the other state, tourism promotion activities etc.

People need not panic but should follow COVID appropriate behaviour: Vice President on Omicron

New Delhi [India]: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday asked the people not to panic in the wake of the emergence of the new COVID variant, Omicron and advised them to remain vigilant and continue following COVID appropriate behaviour till the pandemic is over. He also urged them to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.
According to the statement by Vice President’s Secretariat, launching Gautam Chintamani’s book ‘The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term’ at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, the Vice President said, “The emergence of a new coronavirus strain has created renewed fears in people’s minds. I would advise people not to panic but remain vigilant and keep following COVID appropriate behaviour. I also urge everyone to shed hesitancy, if any, and get themselves vaccinated at the earliest. Together, with everybody’s cooperation, we will certainly be able to defeat this pandemic.” The Vice President further said that the Coronavirus pandemic has come as a big challenge for the entire human race and appreciated the world’s largest vaccination drive currently underway in India.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has come as a big challenge for the entire human race, and India’s efforts during the pandemic have changed the way the world looks at us. The world’s largest free Covid vaccination drive is currently underway in India. We crossed the 125 Crore vaccination milestone a few days ago and this is an example of how nothing is impossible when India sets its mind,” he said.
Praising Chintamani for this timely book that is based on the eventful journey of India during recent years, Naidu recognised that writing contemporary history is never an easy task. Referring to the transformational changes brought in governance over the past seven years, he said that these changes are both empowering and enabling the 1.3 billion people to deliver on their potential.
“Be it life expectancy, financial inclusion, access to healthcare, employment, owning a house, or honouring entrepreneurial ability, the quality of Indian lives is getting better with each passing day,” he said.
Quoting the Prime Minister’s three-word mantra – reform, perform and transform– the Vice President praised the progress made by the nation over the past few years in various fields such as financial inclusion, insurance coverage, number of LPG connections for poor women and tap water connection to households.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a three word mantra – reform, perform and transform. In this spirit, every sector in the country today is witnessing an unprecedented change and reform. In the last seven years, setting a world record in financial inclusion, more than 430 million people have been connected to the banking system in India,” he said.
“Over the same period, more than 360 million, most of them from underprivileged backgrounds, have been provided insurance cover, 87 million women from Below Poverty Line households have been given LPG connections and 52 million households supplied with tap water connection. Stating these statistics is one thing, but comprehending how these pro-poor and people-centric initiatives affect and change people’s lives is entirely different,” he added.

ASEM Summit: Vice President Naidu calls for reforms in UN Security Council

New Delhi [India]: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday emphasized the need for reforms in the UN Security Council and other key international organisations, so as to make them reflective of contemporary realities and capable enough to deal with the contemporary challenges.
Addressing the first Plenary Session of the 13th ASEM Summit virtually from New Delhi on Thursday, the Vice President said that the world is witnessing and grappling with rapid economic, technological and security challenges today and the current multilateral system has fallen short in providing an effective response to these challenges. He also underlined that reformed multilateralism is a key driving principle that India has pursued for a purposeful reform of existing global institutional structures.
The two-day Summit that was inaugurated today is being hosted by Cambodia in the virtual format and is themed on “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”.
The Indian delegation at the ASEM-13 was led by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who will also be addressing the Retreat Session of the Summit tomorrow.
Observing that without peace, development suffers, Naidu also highlighted that the lack of development and stifled economic progress create fertile ground for violence and instability.
Therefore, he called for efforts towards promoting economic activity and enhancing livelihood security and suggested that it will go a long way in the recovery of nations adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stressing the need to mitigate the causes of persistent insecurity at a global level, the Vice President highlighted the need for reforms in the international structure responsible for maintaining global peace and security.
Opining that the multitude of challenges of today’s dynamic and interdependent world cannot be addressed with outdated systems that were designed to deal with the challenges of the past, Naidu expressed an urgent need to re-imagine international cooperation and expand its ambition further.
“It is the lack of a coordinated global response that has exposed the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the multilateral system as it stands today,” he said.
The Vice President also said that the pandemic has exposed the fault lines from unreliable global supply chains to inequitable vaccine distribution, further underlining the need for global solidarity and strengthened multilateralism.
Noting that the re-imagined post-pandemic world will make profoundly different demands from the multilateral system, he highlighted four important areas for international economic cooperation namely, resilient and reliable supply chains, health security, digital for development and green and sustainable recovery.
The Vice President congratulated all participating members on the 25th anniversary of the ASEM process which was established in the year 1996.
Praising ASEM for bringing leaders and people from both continents together to resolve the issues of global concern, he reaffirmed India’s commitment to work towards strengthening the forces of cooperative multilateralism.

Vice President lauds Railways for rising to the occasion with novel efforts during COVID-19

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) [India] : Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu, on Monday, lauded the Indian Railways for rising to the occasion during the pandemic and coming up with novel efforts to ‘keep the wheels running and customers protected’ from the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, said a press release from the Vice President office.
Giving the instance of COVID care isolation coaches, Shramik special trains, and ‘Oxygen Expresses’, Naidu said the Indian Railways geared up its entire machinery and helped the country to effectively tackle the pandemic. The Vice President also complimented the Railways for the in-house development and production of PPEs, coveralls, hand sanitizers and masks, and ensuring the transport of medical equipment and general goods to cities and villages.
“Due to this proactive stance, shortages of goods and food stocks have been largely minimized. Thus, the Railways have not only helped the nation to effectively tackle the pandemic but proved to be an essential lifeline in times of need,” he observed.
Naidu was speaking at Visakhapatnam Railway Station after he flagged off the “Visakhapatnam-Kirandul Passenger Train” with upgraded LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) rake and additional Vistadome coaches.
Recalling his close association with the city, the Vice President thanked the government and complimented the decision of Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw for heeding his suggestion to the Ministry to expedite the use of Vistadome coaches in the route of Visakhapatnam-Araku.
Referring to the tourism potential of the route which passes through a scenic, mountainous terrain of Eastern Ghats through many curves, tunnels and bridges, Naidu said the 360-degree viewing system of the Vistadome coaches will make the journey an unforgettable experience for the passengers. He also commended the Railways for the introduction of an LHB coach to the train, which enhances the comfort and safety of the passengers.

Daughter of Philippine President Duterte files her candidacy for 2022 Vice President elections

Manila [Philippines] : Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, on Saturday filed her candidacy for vice president in the May 2022 elections.
Carpio, 43, sent a representative to the Commission on Elections to file her candidacy as substitute vice presidential candidate under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) that she joined earlier this week. Carpio will be the running mate of presidential aspirant former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
In a resolution on Saturday, Marcos’s party Partido Federal ng Pilipinas adopted and endorsed Carpio as its candidate for vice president in next year’s elections.
This week, Carpio and Marcos stood as sponsors at a wedding of a political ally’s daughter.
The poll body allows the substitution of candidates for the 2022 elections until Nov. 15. Under the rules, substitution is accepted if a candidate dies, withdraws, or is disqualified by the poll body.
Carpio, the mayor of Duterte’s hometown Davao City, is the top pick for president in the 2022 elections, according to several polling surveys.
A national survey by Pulse Asia conducted from Sept. 6 to 11 showed that 20 per cent of 2,400 adult Filipinos aged 18 and above expressed support for Carpio as a “probable” presidential candidate.
Carpio has earlier said that she will not run for president, adding that she would seek reelection as Davao City mayor instead. But she dropped her mayoralty bid this week.
Rodrigo Duterte was elected president in the May 2016 elections. The constitution limits Philippine presidents to a single six-year term.
The vice president is elected separately from the president under Philippine law.

“Empower women for national progress”

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) [India]: Underlining the importance of education of girls, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said women empowerment is essential for accelerated national progress.
Naidu launched a book on the life and parliamentary debates of Umar Alisha, the former pontiff of Sri Viswa Vignana Vidya Adhyatmika Peetham in Visakhapatnam. Addressing the event, the Vice President said, “The empowerment of women is essential for accelerated national progress.” He also highlighted the importance of the education of girl child for the economic prosperity of the individual, family and the nation.
Naidu further paid rich tributes to Alisha for his contributions during the freedom struggle. Describing him as a humanist, Naidu noted Alisha’s efforts in the literary and social sectors as well as for women’s empowerment.
Referring to the spiritual outlook of Umar Alisha, the Vice President said that religious and spiritual leaders should take the message of ‘service’ to the common people.
“It should be conveyed to the people that spirituality and service are not separate, and they essentially seek social welfare,” he added.
Naidu called upon the youth of the country to take inspiration from the sacrifices of the freedom fighters and strive towards a harmonious and inclusive society. He observed that building a society free of all kinds of discrimination is the real tribute to the sacrifices of our freedom fighters.

“Preserve our heritage”

New Delhi [India]: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday emphasised the need to preserve our rich cultural and linguistic heritage and urged everyone to make efforts, individually and collectively, for this.
According to a statement issued by the Vice President’s Secretariat, Naidu made these remarks at the virtual release of the 100th book of the Vanguri Foundation of America. The book titled ‘7va Prapancha Sahiti Sadassu Sabha Vishesha Sanchika’ is based on the 7th World Telugu Literary Summit organised by the Vanguri Foundation of America in collaboration with other Telugu cultural organisations in October last year.
Congratulating the editors, authors, and publishers for dedicating the book to renowned singer S P Balasubrahmanyam, the Vice President called for more such initiatives to promote our rich cultural heritage. He also lauded the Vanguri Foundation for organizing Telugu language conferences during the past 27 years.
Noting that the emergence of the internet and digital technologies provide us with new opportunities for the preservation and development of our languages, the Vice President called for making effective use of these technologies.
“The day our language is forgotten, our culture will also disappear,” he said, adding that our ancient literature should be brought closer to the youth.
The Vice President urged the organizations working for the Telugu language to take up the responsibility of making the rich literary wealth of Telugu available to everyone.
Stressing the need to make the traditional vocabulary accessible to everyone, Naidu said that it is necessary to use existing words effectively and create new Telugu words in line with changing trends.

Vice President calls for people’s movement to protect environment

New Delhi [India]: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu called for a people’s movement to protect the environment and urged people to voluntarily participate in various conservation activities on Sunday.
According to the press release issued by the Vice President’s Secretariat, Naidu called upon the youth to proactively lead environmental movements from the front and motivate others to adopt sustainable practices. “They should drive the point among people that if we take care of nature, nature, in turn, will take care of mankind”, he said.
The vice president spoke at the book release of ‘Nursery Rajyaniki Raraju’, a book on the life story of the late Palla Venkanna, who is credited with transforming the village of Kadiyam in Andhra Pradesh into a popular hub of plant nurseries.
He expressed his appreciation for Venkanna for his tireless efforts towards a ‘Green Bharat’.
Naidu said that Venkanna, who collected over 3000 varieties of plants from around the country, believed that ‘if every home can turn green, the country, as a result, will turn green’.
There has been an increased frequency of extreme weather events in recent times such as flash floods and landslides in different parts of the world. ‘These are clear signs that climate change is real and it cannot be business as usual anymore, he said.
“To mitigate such weather events, it is imperative that we co-exist harmoniously with nature,” Naidu said.
“We must balance our developmental needs with environmental protection and make sure everyone understands the importance of sustainable living,” he added.
Development is possible only when it takes into account the cost of the environment, Naidu said.
As per the release, On the occasion, he lauded the Telangana government for taking up the plantation of trees as a movement under ‘Haritha Haram’.
He suggested that all the state governments should take initiative in creating awareness among the children about environmental protection and tree plantation from the school level.

VP to support Artisans

New Delhi [India]: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu called upon government organisations and private sector institutions to support the artisans of the country in marketing and selling their products in India and abroad.
Noting that the biggest challenge to our talented artisans is the non-availability of marketing opportunities, Naidu suggested that museums, government buildings and large institutions should consider opening shops in their premises, thus providing opportunities to artisans to sell their products, read a release by the Vice President’s Secretariat on Friday. The Vice President also suggested voluntary organisations join hands with artisans to market their products online. “Specialised short-term courses may also be started to train the tribal youth in the technical know-how for online marketing”, he added.
The Vice President, who is on a tour of the North East, arrived in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh today. During the day, he visited the Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum in Itanagar and was shown around the various sections and galleries in the museum, as per the release.
Later in a Facebook post, he recounted his experiences of the museum visit as ‘enriching’ and lauded the museum for being ‘undoubtedly among the best ethnographic museums in the country, stated the press statement.
Among the various sections, Naidu had special words of praise for the “Mountaineering Gallery” set up in the Museum with an aim to develop the younger generation’s interest in adventure and sports. He suggested other institutions and museums come up with similar initiatives, collaborate with local sporting icons and encourage the youth to take up sports and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Writing in his post, Naidu observed that “Arunachal Pradesh with its rich natural and cultural heritage, can be called a reservoir of handicraft. Different tribes have generations of expertise in various craft forms such as weaving, painting, basketry, mask-making, ivory-work, blacksmithy, doll-making, pottery and carpentry.” He said the state’s rich cultural heritage needs to be preserved.

Philippine Vice President Robredo to run in 2022 elections for President

Manila [Philippine] : Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo announced on Thursday that she will run in May 2022 elections, for president in the Southeast Asian country.
Robredo, 56, said in an online announcement, “I will fight. We will fight. I am running for president in the 2022 elections,” The opposition coalition 1Sambayan endorsed Robredo to be its presidential candidate.
Robredo had delayed her announcement after trying to forge a united opposition slate with other presidential contenders, but her efforts failed.
Robredo is expected to file her certificate of candidacy before Friday, the deadline for the week-long submission of certificates of candidacy for politicians who plan to run in next year’s elections.

Vice President urges people to promote, buy Indian handicrafts and handlooms

Agartala (Tripura) [India]: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday called upon the people, particularly youngsters, to buy and promote Indian handicrafts, handlooms, Khadi and other products made by artisans instead of foreign items.
The Vice President, who is on a tour of the north-eastern states, inaugurated an exhibition of handloom and handicraft products, went around the stalls and interacted with artisans, weavers and others at Agartala, Tripura, stated a press statement from Vice President’s Secretariat. Urging the people to be ‘Vocal for Local’, he said that he was hugely impressed by various products like Bamboo bottles, bamboo handbags, artificial flowers, Agarbati, Risha (traditional stole), mulberry silk products and agar tree perfume-oil that were on display.
Praising the talent and craftsmanship of the artisans, weavers and makers of other traditional products, he said they needed to be encouraged.
The Vice President said there was enormous talent and knowledge among Indians. India is uniquely blessed with a demographic dividend with about 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35 years and 50 per cent below 25 years. He said the need of the hour is to identify the talent and impart training to artisans and craftspersons to upgrade their skills.
He also urged the Centre and various state governments to accord more importance to providing timely and affordable credit and marketing avenues to artisans and weavers to enable them to generate income and stand on their own feet.
Naidu appreciated the organisers, the State government and the North Eastern Council for organising the exhibition.
Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister of Tripura, Mevar Kumar Jamatia, Minister, Industry and Commerce (HHS) and other dignitaries were present.

President, Vice President, other political leaders pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 152nd birth anniversary at Rajghat

President Ram Nath Kovind paid floral tributes to the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi on his 152nd birth anniversary at Raj Ghat on Saturday.

New Delhi [India], October 2 : Paying tribute to Bapu, President Kovind asked people to take pledge to strive for making India a country of his dreams. “Homage to Bapu on #GandhiJayanti. It is a special day for all Indians to remember Gandhiji’s struggles and sacrifice. Let us take a pledge that we will continue to strive for making India a country of Gandhiji’s dreams while adhering to his teachings, ideals and values,” said Kovind in a tweet today.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu also paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

“My respectful tributes to the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi Ji on his birth anniversary today. Universally revered as an apostle of peace and non-violence Gandhiji was an embodiment of selfless service, kindness and compassion,” tweeted Vice President of India.

Leaders across the political spectrum also paid homage to the father of the nation at Raj Ghat.
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi reached Rajghat to pay floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla also paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also reached Rajghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tribute to the father of the nation at Rajghat.
Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against the colonial British rule with utmost patience.
This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in ‘Swaraj’ (self-governance) and ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.
Globally, Gandhi’s birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events were held in India and across the world to mark the occasion.

Prayer meeting held at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad

A prayer meeting was held on Saturday at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on the occasion of the 152nd birth anniversary of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.
Meanwhile, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Rajghat in the national capital to pay floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. Other political leaders who paid tributes to Bapu on his birth anniversary at Rajghat today include Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, party leader Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar town of Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of India’s freedom struggle against colonial British rule with utmost patience.
This led to India finally achieving India’s independence in 1947. Fondly known as Bapu, his unwavering belief in ‘Swaraj’ (self-governance) and ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.
Globally, Gandhi’s birth anniversary is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Several events are held in India and across the world to mark the occasion.

President Kovind pays tributes to Lal Bahadur Shastri on his 117th birth anniversary at Vijay Ghat

New Delhi [India], October 2 : President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday paid floral tributes to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on the occasion of his 117th birth anniversary at Vijay Ghat.
Shastri was born on October 2, 1904, in the Mughalsarai district of Uttar Pradesh. He shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi. He entered politics at a young age as a satyagraha in the Indian National Movement. On August 15, 1947, he became the Minister of Police and Transport in independent India. Shastri became the Prime Minister of India in 1964 and led the country during the India-Pakistan war in 1965.

He coined the slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ which resonated with the masses and was widely accepted. On January 11, 1966, he breathed his last in Tashkent after a cardiac arrest

Elderly Line 14567, SACRED portal launched

New Delhi [India]: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Friday launched the Elder Line at 14567, a National Helpline for the senior citizens in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
The helpline was set up by the government of India in collaboration with Tata trust and will function 12 hours a day to resolve the grievances of senior citizens from across the country. He also launched the Senior Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED) portal to connect senior citizens with job providers in the private sector.
Referring to the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) report-2020, Naidu said that more than 50 per cent of senior citizens are active and therefore, it is very important to provide gainful employment opportunities to them for a happy, healthy, empowered and self-reliant life.
Highlighting that our elders are the vast repository of experience and expertise, he urged the private sector to join the new portal and get benefitted from the skills and experience of our senior citizens.
The Vice President also urged India’s young start-ups to come up with innovative and out-of-box solutions to the everyday problems faced by the elderly.
“Taking care of the elderly should not be the responsibility of the government alone and each one of us should come forward and join this noble cause,” he said.
Notably, the United Nations General Assembly had adopted a resolution to observe October 1, 1999 as the International Day of Older Persons and since then, the 1st day of October every year is celebrated as the International Day of Older Persons, worldwide.
Naidu conferred the Vayoshreshtha Samman-2021 on the eminent senior citizens in recognition of their services towards the cause of the elderly persons on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons.
Congratulating all the institutions and individuals who were honoured yesterday with the ‘National Award- Vayoshreshtha Samman 2021’, Naidu said that their work will inspire others to follow the path of service.
United Nations International Day of Older Persons theme for 2021 was ‘Digital Equity for All Ages’.
Referring to the theme, the Vice President emphasised the need for increasing digital literacy among our senior citizens. He called upon the younger generation to take the lead in this regard and educate the elders in their family and neighbourhood on the use of digital devices. This will go a long way in empowering them, he added.
Noting the COVID pandemic has severely affected everyone including the senior citizens, Naidu called upon the civil society and voluntary organisations to act as a support system to the elderly and supplement the efforts of the Government and its agencies.
“They can play a proactive role in generating awareness on the problems of elderly people and help in strengthening intergenerational bonding,” he said.
Observing that the elderly population in India is projected to reach about 14.9 per cent by the year 2036, Naidu recalled India’s rich tradition of respecting and caring for the elderly.
“Under the Joint Family System, they enjoyed a place of reverence and influence, guiding and advising the younger generations on the strength of their knowledge, wisdom and long years of experience,” he said.
Noting that with changing times and erosion of the traditional values, he said that these days many of our young children do not get the privilege of enjoying the tender care, love, affection and guidance of the older generations as was available to us in our joint families.
Referring to the various challenges in the wellbeing of the elderly, Naidu said that the Government and Parliament are taking necessary initiatives to create the right policy framework for the care of the elderly.
He called upon state governments and local bodies to proactively follow up and implement these programmes.
Emphasising the need to sensitize society towards the challenges faced by the elderly, he appealed to media and NGOs to take up sensitization drives to educate people in this regard.
He also suggested that wherever needed, senior citizens should be imparted training to upgrade their skills.

Vice President Naidu to launch Elderly Line 14567 for senior citizens tomorrow

New Delhi [India]: On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu will dedicate the Elderly Line 14567 to the nation on Friday.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will organise VAYO NAMAN programme in honour of senior citizens on October 1. The programme will be held at the Plenary Hall of Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on October 1. The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu will be the chief guest of the event and will confer the ‘Vayosheshtra Samman’ awards.
The Ministry celebrates International Day of Older Persons every year on October 1 for the cause of elderly persons.
Naidu will also launch the Senior Able Citizens Reemployment in Dignity (SACRED) and Senior Care Ageing Growth Engine (SAGE) Portals on this occasion, said the Ministry.
Elder Line is a National Helpline for Senior Citizens (NHSC) set up by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) and state governments.
National Implementing Agency (an empowered Committee) set up by the Ministry along with NISD (National Institute for Social Defence) is currently hosting the Elder Line along with the States. Operationally, the state agencies will be working closely with all state departments and district functionaries to deliver services. Elder Line 14567 is a toll-free number open 12 Hours a day (8:00 am to 8:00 pm), that provides free information, guidance, emotional support, field intervention in cases of abuse and rescues in order to improve the quality of life of senior citizens.
In case of emergencies like pandemic, this helpline can support senior citizens with the right and on-time information for medical needs, emotional support and other associated needs in collaboration with all the state departments, the Ministry said.
Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar and Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhaumik and Ramdas Athawale will also be present at the occasion.

VP calls for AI solutions

New Delhi [India]: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday called for tapping the potential of revolutionary technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver benefits to the people and enhance the quality of life.
In this regard, Naidu urged educational institutions, researchers, and developers to come out with practical AI solutions in the fields of agriculture, health, and education. Enumerating possible applications for AI, Naidu suggested the industry and developers to work towards solutions for precision agriculture to ensure quality farm output, to bring about efficient grading of the produce, and to enable better price discovery for farmers.
He also suggested exploring AI-based smart solutions in health such as remote diagnosis, and automatic translation of English texts to Indian languages in education.
Addressing a gathering at IIT Jodhpur after laying the foundation of fabrication laboratory for Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) Naidu said, “If such solutions can be scaled up, even a small gain in efficiency and productivity can bring positive change in the lives of millions of people.”
Naidu remarked that technologies like AI and AIoT have been revolutionising many sectors of the global economy in the last decade.
He said that the ultimate aim of science and technology is to transform the lives of the people. “That should be the aim for the development of AI too”, he added.
Reflecting on the possibilities of AI in governance, Naidu advised governments to explore using AI to improve the timely delivery of services. He mentioned the example of Direct Benefit Transfer through Jan-Dhan accounts and said that this has plugged leakages and protected people from exploitation to a great extent.
Therefore, he also urged universities to work with local governments and develop intelligent solutions in governance and welfare.
The Vice President further observed that such collaboration can give exposure to the students, test their knowledge in the real world, and enable them to come out with innovative solutions to some of society’s long-standing problems.
Touching upon the economic potential of AI, Naidu noted that AI has the potential to add 957 billion US dollars or 15 per cent of the current gross value added to India’s economy by 2035.
Highlighting that AI could possibly displace many routine jobs, Naidu stressed the importance of skilling and training youth to match the demands of changing job markets in the time of Industrial Revolution 4.0.
He suggested making basic courses in computing and data science mandatory for students across disciplines to keep students abreast of the latest technological developments. “This is absolutely important in today’s data-driven world”, Naidu added.
Lauding the recent decision of 14 engineering colleges across eight states to offer courses in regional languages, Naidu called for more such professional courses in higher education in Indian languages. He also said that AI holds immense potential in the promotion of Indian languages by way of an automatic translation from English and other languages.

AP BJP slams YSRCP govt over PDS

Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh) [India]: Andhra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice president Ravela Kishore Babu on Friday slammed the YSRCP government for misleading people regarding the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the state and publicizing themselves for the work done by the Central government.
Speaking to ANI, Babu said that the Central government provides the funds to the PDS through the state governments and the essential commodities like wheat, rice and sugar are provided to poor people at a subsidised rate through those funds. “But Andhra Pradesh government headed by Jagan Mohan Reddy is full of deceit and lies and is involved in false propaganda to mislead people. They are portraying as if they are giving the entire funds to this PDS system in the state which is not true. It is the Modi government that is giving funds to ensure that the poor people get ration at a highly subsidised rate,” he stated.
The state BJP vice president further said that the vehicles carrying ration for distribution only bear photos of Rajasekhara Reddy and the Chief Minister and there is no mention of the Central government.
“The Central government issued a circular to YSRCP government to put pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in every ration shop but the state government clearly failed to do so. Instead, they put small posters that had CM Reddy’s photo on the top and the PM’s photo below it, which is against the protocol and is an insult to the institution of Prime Minister of India,” he added.
Babu said that the BJP government condemns this attitude of state government and as per the party directive, the BJP workers are going to aware the people of the truth of the PDS system through pamphlets, posters, banners and social media.
“We are going to tell them that it is the Modi government that is providing them ration and even gave additional 5 kg rice for free along with the regular ration during the Covid times under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. The Central government is spending thousands of crores of rupees for the welfare of people and they should not be misled by the state government,” he stated.
The BJP leader informed that the Central government is bearing a subsidy of Rs 33 per kg of rice being given to people through PDS and the YSRCP government is concealing the facts in a conspiring way to gain political mileage.

Collective efforts required to achieve target of TB free India by 2025: Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi [India]: Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said collective efforts from all are needed to achieve the target of a Tuberculosis (TB) free India by 2025.
The Vice President, who chaired a sensitisation programme for Members of Parliament on Tuberculosis along with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, said TB is one of the unfinished items on the agenda and India has to collectively strive towards eliminating it. Underlining the commitment of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to eliminate TB by 2025, Naidu in his presidential address said the Members of Parliament have an important role to play in addressing public health challenges such as the TB menace.
He further said that apart from raising such issues in Parliament, Members need to be catalysts in the mass awareness campaign in the fight against this disease by playing a proactive role in their constituencies or State.
The Vice President highlighted that since 2000, an estimated 63 million lives have been saved through TB diagnosis and treatment.
Underlining the significant progress on various health indicators, India has achieved since independence, Naidu highlighted that the average life expectancy has increased to 69.4 years which was 35 years in 1950.
He further emphasised that India can definitely be free of TB by 2025 through collective efforts.
This is possible given the success the country has seen during the last one and half years in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through collaborative efforts in which every person, every stakeholder and every institution has shown remarkable grit and determination. India needs to continue the same spirit of working together across party lines as Team India in our fight against TB.
The Rajya Sabha Chairman concluded his presidential address by administering oath to the Members of Parliaments to strive towards elimination of TB in India by 2025 as envisaged by PM Modi.

Covid appropriate behaviour must even after vaccination: Naidu

New Delhi, Jul 10: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said that Covid appropriate behaviour like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently was a must even after vaccination.

Calling upon people to shun vaccine hesitancy, he underlined the need for concerted efforts to counter fake news and dispel myths on issues relating to COVID-19.

Urging the icons in different fields, doctors and others to dispel fears and create awareness among the people on the importance of vaccination, Mr Naidu emphasized that every Indian has a social responsibility to get vaccinated and encourage others to immunize themselves. Vaccination drive should become a peoples’ movement and it should be led by the youth, he added.

Releasing the book ‘Kotha (Corona) Kathalu’, an anthology of 80 short stories on COVID-19 in Telugu by eminent authors from across the world, the Vice President suggested the people adopt five principles to combat the pandemic–leading an active lifestyle that includes regular physical exercise or yoga, seeking spiritual solace, consuming healthy nutritious food, observing Covid-appropriate behaviour like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently and to always protect and live in harmony with nature.

Asserting that India has fared reasonably well in tackling the pandemic in spite of the huge population and lack of adequate health infrastructure, he commended the efforts of scientists, doctors, health workers and others in playing an invaluable role in containing the spread of Coronavirus.

Observing that the pandemic has underlined the importance of regular physical activity, Mr Naidu pointed to the importance of mental health as a public health issue in the wake of the pandemic and the need to address it in a holistic manner.

Noting that meditation and spirituality would help in maintaining a balanced life, he urged people to follow precautions even after getting vaccinated.

On this occasion, he also paid rich tributes to the legendary singer, late SP Balasubramaniam, to whom the book is dedicated. Recalling the life of the versatile singer, Mr Naidu said in the five decades of his musical journey, SP Balasubramaniam left an indelible mark on the musical world.

fast-track genome sequencing

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that there is a need to fast-track genome sequencing of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 to speed up development of suitable vaccines and drugs.

He stressed the need to intensify international collaborations by research institutions and to study feasibility of developing a universal vaccine that can neutralise various variants.

“Specialised research focusing on sequencing would help in timely interventions during the ongoing pandemic. Sequencing, as an adjunctive tool, plays a critical role in identifying the emergence of new viral mutations and thus, helps combat the spread of Covid-19,” he said while addressing scientists at CCMB’s LaCONES (Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species) facility.

“With SARS-CoV-2 mutating frequently, we are seeing the emergence of new variants that are causing faster transmissibility. This is a cause for concern and calls for stepped up efforts from scientists to neutralise its ability to spread rapidly,” he said.

Naidu said the need for genome sequencing of new variants becomes crucial in the light of reports of big cats contracting Covid-19 in a few zoos in the country. Species jump of a virus – from humans to animals or vice versa – can lead to new variants and pose fresh challenges in the ongoing fight against the pandemic, he added.

He opined that LaCones is rightly positioned to make these linkages at both national and international levels, to understand the emergence of infectious diseases, and prevent such pandemics in the future.

He noted that LaCONES is one of the four centres in the country that can test animal samples for Covid-19 infection. It recently released guidelines in collaboration with the Central Zoo Authority and Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change for the zoo frontline workers on Covid-19 investigation for captive animals.

He complimented the CCMB for its contribution to the cause of Covid-19 mitigation that includes the establishment of rapid diagnostics, genome sequencing and surveillance. “Research done at the CCMB has also shown that coronavirus spreads through air and that it can be detected in sewage and wild animals. The easy transmission of this virus poses many challenges, and the way in which it might infect new hosts or other species will be an important area of research. This is where the CCMB can take a lead and shed some valuable light,” he added.

He said that it is now imperative that India pays greater attention to zoonotic diseases that impact both animals and humans. There are many reports that connect climate change to emerging infectious diseases. He hoped the CCMB, the LaCONES, and other research institutes and public health organisations in India would expand their facilities to perform surveillance using rapid genome sequencing platforms.

Naidu also appealed to people to shed vaccine hesitancy and take the required doses of the vaccine. The need of the hour is to create awareness among people that vaccines would provide a high degree of protection and even if infected, the disease will be less severe, he said.

At the same time, people should not lower their guard. Everyone should follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour by avoiding large gatherings, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and remaining in well-ventilated areas, he added.

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